SIBU: A request will be submitted to the Transport Ministry (MOT) and AirAsia soon to revive the Sibu-Kota Kinabalu (KK) sector for Visit Sibu Year 2016.
Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) deputy chairman Dato Andrew Wong revealed a committee had been set up to pursue this matter.
He explained the committee was keen on the Sibu-KK sector as KK was an international hub.
“The event list for Visit Sibu Year has been finalised. We will be requesting MOT and AirAsia to consider the Sibu-KK flight.
I think this is important, given that the airline has bigger aircraft and lower airfares.
“While AirAsia has numerous flights to Kuala Lumpur, KK is actually a more viable option because it is closer to places like Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Philippines,” Wong told The Borneo Post on Saturday.
He believed if the request were approved, it would do wonders for Visit Sibu Year 2016 because of lower airfares.
“If you fly from Korea to KK and then to Sibu, the trip will be shortened by at least a couple of hours. That will bring in more people (here).
“More people will actually know that Borneo stands for Sarawak and Sabah, and not only Sabah.”
Wong said the committee would also be looking into the possibility of requesting for other flights such as Singapore-Sibu and Guangzhou-Sibu.
“This will help grow our tourism industry.”
Wong said all concerned were now busy compiling relevant information, such as on events and places of interest and also promotion strategies for Visit Sibu Year 2016, to support its case for more flights.
“Hopefully, that will be the catalyst for growth. If 2016 proves to be a successful year for the airlines, they will continue to fly these routes.”
AirAsia discontinued the direct Sibu-KK flight in August 2009 after operating for four months as MASwings had been given the rural air routes exclusive rights by the government.